Original Review by Alan Rogers

Maria Montessori was an Italian physician and educator who is best known today for developing a style of child education that emphasises child independence and in supporting children’s natural psychological development. Maria Montessori: Una Vita Per I Bambini is a two-part TV drama originally shown on Italian TV back in 2007. In it, we follow Montessori’s training as a physican and how she comes to set up her “La Casa del Bambino”. As well as following her professional progress the film also follows how she fails to succeed in bringing up her own child. Maria Montessori: Una Vita I Bambini represents director Gianluca Maria Tavarelli’s first collaboration with composer Marco Wetta. Italian Marco Betta has composed only a handful of film/TV scores and is probably better known for his operas as well as his orchestral and chamber music. However, here he delivers a quality score that’s full of emotion and beauty.

Marco Betta is a composer who I have not come across but I was immediately drawn to this score because of the attractive thematic material heard right from the first track, “Maria Montessori”. The score is very much based around the use of lush strings and piano. Sometimes it is the strings that take the lead with the melody and the piano plays a supporting role (for example, the piano ostinato in “Maria Montessori” and “Gli Esperimenti e La Vita”) or visa versa (“Amore Per Maria” and “L’amore e Gli Altri”). Other cues such as “Pioggia e Pedagogia” have the strings and piano swapping roles throughout the score. This interplay of emphasis together with the lovely melodic music makes the score as a whole an interesting listen from beginning to end. 

Solo instruments also feature occasionally, particularly the woodwinds (e.g., “Gli Esperimenti e La Vita”, “L’Amore e Gli Altri”). Most memorable of all in terms of the use of solo instrruments, the strong solo strings of cues such as “Gli Esperimenti e La Vita” and “Madre Nascosta” stand out particularly well against the soundscape of the score’s lush strings and piano. Maria Montessori: Una Vita Per I Bambini ends particularly strongly with the lovely “Tema di Bambini”, evoking pleasure with a hint of fond memories from those lush strings. This is a very pleasant album, full of memorable music. It has an optimism to it and has a feel to it that is almost “homely” that may be reflective of the children in Maria Montessori’s care. It is little gems like this that make worthwhile the time spent browsing through album after album with titles I have never heard of from unknown composers. I highly recommend this album to anyone who likes the music of composers such as Georges Delerue. As far as I know, this is only available on the lable RTI/Made In Etaly from most digital download outlet stores.

Rating: ****

  1. Maria Montessori
  2. Gli Esperimenti e La Vita
  3. Il Collegio e I Fiori
  4. Amore Per Maria
  5. Valzer In Manicomio
  6. Madre Nascosta
  7. L’Incubo di Maria
  8. L’Amore e Gli Altri
  9. Pioggia e Pedagogia
  10. La Scuola Montessori
  11. Riconoscimento e Abbandono
  12. Tema dei Bambini

Running Time: 29:21

RTI/Made In Etaly (2009)


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